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Host Families Articles

Our host family articles will provide you with information about hosting an exchange student with us. Already a host family? Find articles about supporting your exchange student.

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How To Successfully Bring A Different Culture Into Your Home

Each family has a set of beliefs about how things should be and to relate to each other. It is influenced by the structure of the family, number of children, personalities and experiences.

American Customs That Will Shock Your Student

Having an ETC exchange student in your home will enrich your life! Cultural Differences are part of the fabric of our values, beliefs and traditions. Knowledge of these variations will help you to understand certain behaviors and avoid cultural misunderstandings.

What It's Like To Be A Host Family With ETC

We believe making connections with other people is one of the best ways to learn about the world. "Tien had planned to have another year in the states, graduate from a high school here, and then continue on to college in the states as well. He said he felt much more able to do this after having spent a year here, with us. We are grateful to have been that resource for him". - Charity (host mom)

How COVID-19 Made A Family Bond Stronger With Their Exchange Students

“I honestly haven’t seen any negative side effects from it, only positive things. Our kids have gotten so much closer because of it.” - Michele (host mom)

How being a Local Coordinator for exchange students has changed my life

My heart is to bring families and students, from all over the world to bridge our countries together. "I have met and gotten to know wonderful Host Parents and families, and of course teens from all over the country. I love this job". - Chris (ETC local coordinator)

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Inspiring Story Of Our Host Family During COVID-19

"Alba will forever be a part of our family! We were so anxious and nervous for Alba to arrive from Spain, but we all immediately clicked from the second she stepped off the plane." - Jacki (ETC host mom)

Being A Host Mom Has Brought Me So Much Joy

Being their “American Mom” has brought me as much joy as my own beautiful children. "I cry when they leave and I cry when they come back to visit or we get to visit them. No, not everything ran smoothly and we had ups and down and issues that had to be worked out, but we are better off because of each of them". - Paula (host mom)

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Host Mom Reflects On Experience With Her Exchange Student

"Hosting our exchange student this year was an amazing blessing for our family!" - Heather (ETC host mom)

Stories: The Marez Family

It’s true, you can’t love someone more than you miss them. - Cassie (ETC host mom)

This August, Become A Host Family With ETC

If you have a little room in your home and a lot of room in your heart, then you are meant to be a host family spreading international goodwill through your loving service.

Exchange Student Experiences In Times Of COVID 19

"I think going through quarantine together made me know them even more." - ETC student

Stories From The Halander Family

"As with a lot of people on the autism spectrum, Zack doesn’t have a lot of friends, certainly no close friends. Except his brothers. Habib (from Mexico) and Gabe (from Italy) are his best friends ." - Kristie (host mom)

How Is It Being An ETC Host Family?

How is it being an ETC host family? What are the benefits of hosting an exchange student? Here are some of the questions our host family answered in our Instagram Live interview!

Stories From The Acott Family

ETC is a wonderful non-profit organization that places students all across the US. "I think of hosting as a gift.... to the student, but also a gift that the host family gives themselves," - Mary Frances (host mom)

ETC Host Mom Shares Her Experience Hosting An International Student

It’s never perfect and I would never wish it to be. But it is real and life changing. To anyone that wants to wait for the perfect moment to host, it will never come. -Michele (ETC host mom and Field Manager)

An Open Letter From A Host Family

"I promise you won’t regret it, at least until you are crying uncontrollably in the airport telling them goodbye for now!" - Chelsea (host mom)

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What It’s Like To Host An Exchange Student

My kids have now have international siblings and have been exposed to people that have different cultures and ways of life.

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Say “Yes!” To Hosting: The Rickett Family

I have always wanted a daughter, always. "Because of ETC I now have a daughter, lifelong friendships with some of the best ladies I have ever met, and a new understanding of “blood doesn’t make a family.” ". - Kayla (host mom)

Why Your Family Should Host An Exchange Student With ETC

The benefits of hosting a foreign exchange student are truly limitless; Gaining another member of your family, learning a new language, eating new meals, experiencing another way of life, etc.

What To Know Before Hosting An Exchange Student

Bringing the world into your home, family and community by hosting an international high school exchange student is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

5 Benefits of Hosting an Exchange Student Without Kids at Home

ETC seeks diversity in host families so students can get the true American experience.

How much is hosting a foreign exchange student? 

Our exchange students are so excited to come to America to study and live with an American family. However, I am sure that you and your family had the discussion “How much will a foreign exchange student cost our family?”

Becoming Host Parents

Hosting an exchange student was something that I have wanted to do forever. With no babies, an exchange student is a perfect excuse for me to spoil someone.

Our Family Has Young Kids…We Just Aren’t Ready to Host Yet

Many families think they have to be empty nesters or wait until their kids become teenagers in order to be great hosts, but that could not be further from the truth.

26 Ways Of Expressing Appreciation To Your Host Family

Our relationships with others are what enrich our lives. Take time to show the people who make your life better how much you appreciate them and how much they matter. And ALWAYS choose to have a positive attitude!

Host Family Appreciation Month

Thank you to our generous ETC host families for all that you’ve done. You’ve changed lives and made a difference in your community.

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Saying Goodbye To Your Exchange Student

Saying goodbye to your exchange student will NEVER be an easy thing. You just have to remember all of the good times together so far and how many more there will be.

Ways To Show You Care!

Your host family does so much for you! here are some tips to help you show your gratitude…

Student Adjustment Cycle and How the Host Family Can Help

These stages are far from universal, but most students who arrive in August for a 10 month stay, experience many of these stages at different times and to different degrees during their stay. Acknowledgment of these stages may help you to better understand some of the feelings your student may experience.

Helping your Exchange Student Process Homesickness

​Host families play an integral role in introducing the exchange student to the community and helping students make the most of their experience in the United States.

Traveling With Your Exchange Student

Traveling with students can be an exciting and memorable experience. Whether it’s a road trip to a local destination or flying cross country for grandma’s birthday, your family will find this time valuable for bonding with your student as you discover new things about each other.

Differences in Religion and Spirituality

Spirituality is a deeply personal matter and religion religion may or may not be an important part of a host family’s life.

Culture Shock and Homesickness

Culture shock is the physical and emotional discomfort experienced when living in a culture with different values, perceptions, cultural norms and beliefs that “threaten” a person’s understanding of what he or she thought to be “right.”

Adjustment and Adaptation Issues

Conflict between student and host family is not uncommon. Causes of conflict include: failure to follow host family rules, weak adjustment effort and uncooperative attitude.

Five Simple Safety Tips for Host Families

Inviting an international student into your home is an exciting experience that thousands of host families enjoy every year. It is a time to share your culture, learn about someone else’s, and develop strong bonds along the way.

How to make American friends at school

Tips from "Actual" ETC Students!

Perceived Lack of English Proficiency

Some students may not be very communicative when they first arrive in the U.S. Communication in a foreign language is extremely tiring and can be frustrating.

Tips for Dealing with Conflict

Avoid some of the common pitfalls associated with international travel.

Tips for host families: preparing for student arrival

While there can be a substantial amount to prepare for as you get closer to welcoming your student, you can rest assured that your cultural experience with them will be a positive one.

Too Much Contact with Home

Many students deal with their feelings of homesickness and culture shock by seeking out close communication with family and friends from their home country.

International Students Enrich Your Community

International students play a part in social development. See what ETC says about how students contribute to communities while also benefiting themselves.

12 Best Recipes From Our Students Home Countries

Our past ETC students have claimed this celebration to be one of their favorite experiences of their entire exchange year.

Christmas Around The World

Christmas is celebrated in most parts of the world with different nuances and traditions. Learning how Christmas is viewed, experienced and rejoiced in other countries will help us to better connect to our students and enrich our own traditions.

Nola Meets Fort Mill, SC

In the Fort Mill School District, there has been an increasing, amount of foreign exchange students that attend these schools for an entire school year. Nola Schramm is a junior at Fort Mill High School that is a part of this program.


Phone Number

(503) 222-9803 in Portland
(877) 222-9803 Toll Free
Fax: (503) 227-7224


1029 SW Washington Street Portland, OR 97205

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